Osteosarcoma is an unfortunate and insidious cancer. It is a common type of bone cancer that develops from osteoblasts, cells that make growing bone. This disease commonly affects teens that are experiencing a growth spurt. There is a higher incidence in boys than girls and it is mostly found in the larger bones of the body, such as the arms and legs. Osteosarcoma is one of the few cancers that metastasize (spread); however, it can diffuse to other bones or organs in the body. There are visible symptoms associated with osteosarcoma. It can be diagnosed by a physician both through physical examinations and testing (Gorlick & Khanna, 2010). Although it seems there is a limited number of a treatment , many remain hopeful that it can be successful along with rehabilitation. The cause of osteosarcoma appears to be unknown. According to Gorlick and Khanna’s (2010) beliefs, genetic factors have been associated in its development. Most osteosarcomas arise from errors in the DNA formation (p. 685). Osteosarcoma represents “less than one percent of cancers diagnosed in the United States yet is the primary malignancy of bone” (Gorlick & Khanna, 2010, p. 688). The considerable majority of osteosarcoma in children usually starts at the age of puberty. The mesenchymal cells (connective tissue that grows into cartilage and bone) produce osteoids, which live in tiny compartments of the bone marrow and space between the bones. Mesenchymal cells also include osteoblasts in their make-up, which are located along the sides of the bone and act in repairing and restoring bones. Most tumors originate in the space within the bones rather than on the surface of the bones. Consequently, osteosarcoma stems from osteoblasts and indicates that rare precursor cells are made of these as well as mesenchymal cells (Gorlick & Khanna, 2010). Classic signs and symptoms of osteosarcoma are pain, swelling at the site, and decreased movement at the joint....
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